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Pathways: The Academies of Natrona County isn’t slated to open its doors for students until 2016 but that isn’t stopping 8th grade students at CY Middle School from planning for the future.
8th grade Core Y teachers at CY Middle School have implemented a yearlong plan to introduce Pathways: The Academies of Natrona County to students in their homeroom class.
For CY teacher, Melissa Erdahl, the inclusion of information about the Academies is crucial to student academic planning, “It adds structure and value…students can start learning about Pathways: The Academies of Natrona County and begin to make plans for their future.”
Students are working to create an educational plan over the course of the academic year. Each quarter they are introduced to a new Academy and are able to explore the requirements and content within the particular area. At the end of each quarter, students experience hands-on learning with the particular Academy by taking a field trip relating to the content.
During the 1st Quarter students learned about the BANR Academy and completed the project with a field trip to a local Corn Maze to learn about the inclusion of business in agricultural projects.
Currently, students are learning about the CACD Academy with help from Academy Coach, Molly Voris. Students choosing the Creative Arts, Communication, and Design Academy will learn about potential careers and certifications available. At the end of the 2nd Quarter, students will partner with local news agencies, movie theater owners, and design companies to experience the reality of a career in the field.
Students will continuing learning about the Academies during the 3rd quarter by studying and experiencing the HSHS Academy. The teachers plan to relate the content to students and help them explore career opportunities within the Academy by taking a field trip the Casper Recreation Center to learn about nutritionists, healthy living, and fitness.
During the last quarter of the year, students will explore the content of the ACME Academy with the assistance of ACME Coach, Mance Hurley. During the course of the quarter students will design and manufacture a human go-cart. At the completion of the project they will race and test their design at the local skating arena. The project also aims to tie in science standards by learning about acceleration and physics.
At the end of the year the goal is to have provided students an opportunity to explore and obtain a greater understanding of Pathways: The Academies of Natrona County while building a foundation for informed and student-involved academic planning.